If you spend a few days away from your LinkedIn account, only to come back to an inbox full of direct messages you’ve ignored, you’re missing a trick.
Potential prospects expect almost instant replies to inquiries now, especially in the B2B sector.
But you can’t be active on LinkedIn all hours of the day, so what’s the solution?
A LinkedIn autoresponder.
This simple yet effective tool is a must for businesses on LinkedIn looking to improve lead generation. And in this post, we’ll show you why and how to set one up.
Not using hashtags as part of your LinkedIn lead gen strategy? This is another simple tweak to see quick results – we’ll show you how to get started with our hashtag guide.
What is LinkedIn Autoresponder?
LinkedIn’s autoresponder is an automatic messaging service that lets you automatically notify someone when they send you a message on the platform.
The primary purpose is to set up an away message. This way, if someone reaches out to you on LinkedIn with an inbound message when you’re not around, they’ll get an immediate response letting them know when you’ll reply or a better way of contacting you.
But LinkedIn message automation is a clever marketing tool that can be used for much more than setting up a simple away message.
Why Automate LinkedIn?
If LinkedIn is part of your marketing strategy and you’re regularly active on the platform, you might be wondering why you would use automation for messages on LinkedIn in the first place.
But automating as much of the marketing process as possible will save you hours every week if you’re doing it all manually while boosting your sales opportunities.
Saves hours every month
If you get a lot of cold messages on LinkedIn, replying to each one automatically is a time-consuming task. Not to mention, not all of those conversations will be worth your time.
A simple automated response will let potential connections know when you’re going to be online or can qualify them as a potential lead.
Grows your network much more quickly
It’s not just replies you can automate. Using a tool like Zopto can also automatically send connection requests with personalized messages to your ideal clients.
This grows your network on autopilot and grows brand awareness – all with zero input from you once it’s set up.
Improves your outreach drip campaigns
If you get a message from a warm lead who is the ideal person for your product or service, you can also automate the initial stages of outreach – significantly improving your conversions and saving time for your sales team.
An automation tool like Zopto will let you automatically transfer profile data to your dashboard where it’s used to personalize cold outreach messages.
How to set up LinkedIn Autoresponders, Automatic Replies, and Away Messages
We’ll dive into how to write an autoresponder later in the post. First, here’s how to set on up on your LinkedIn profile:
- Select the three dots on the top right of the messages tab.
- Select ‘Update away message’ from the options.
- Choose start/end date and create your LinkedIn away message (autoresponder).
The default auto-reply message will say, ‘I’m currently away. I’ll respond to your message when I return.’
Once it’s enabled, every LinkedIn user who sends you a personal message will receive your automated message. LinkedIn also lets the user know that it’s an automatic reply so they won’t think they’re talking to you directly.
Each user will only get that automatic message once during the period you set. So if they continue to message you, they won’t keep getting the same automatic message.
Also, your auto-response won’t work in group messages and it doesn’t work in the Sales Navigator inbox for premium users. It only works in your one-on-one direct messages.
Different Ways to Use LinkedIn Messages
Now we have all the technical stuff out of the way, let’s dive into how you can use this automation tool strategically to boost your lead generation.
Give potential leads a timeframe
Did you know that the optimal time to reply to a potential lead is five minutes or less? Customers expect almost instant communication now that chatbots and 24/7 customer service are widespread.
If someone reaches out to you on LinkedIn to enquire about your product or service, an autoresponder will ensure you hit that five-minute window.
Give a specific time that you will get back to them in person and keep it light:
“I’m travelling for work right now but I’ll be back at my desk Thursday 5th at 12 to check my messages. Thanks for your patience and I look forward to connecting!”
If you like communicating through LinkedIn, this is an easy way to improve your LinkedIn outreach and will keep leads happy.
Give a calendar link
If you don’t check LinkedIn much and you’re not a fan of talking to clients on the platform, you could add a link to your calendar to encourage people to book a time to talk to you when you’re available.
But remember, everyone who messages you gets this automatic message (and you’ll get a lot if you’re a LinkedIn LION) – so you might start getting meetings that are a waste of your time.
If you do want to go down this route, be clear in your autoresponse so people know if they should go ahead and schedule with you:
“Thanks for reaching out. I’m currently busy with projects and won’t be checking LinkedIn messages much this week. But if you’re interested in [your service] and want to know more about how I can help you [your benefit], here’s my calendar link. I’d love to set up a time we can talk: [link]
If you’re interested in a collab or want to talk about something else, drop me an email at: [your email]”
Give a dynamic form link
If you usually get a mixed bag of messages on LinkedIn and want to automate the process of filtering them, a dynamic link is a good option.
This will give the recipient the option to choose how they contact you based on their intent. It could include a link to your sales page, calendar, email, and FAQ page.
“Thanks so much for your message. I’m going to be away from LinkedIn for the rest of the week, but you can use this link to find the best way to reach me: [link]”
Direct to a landing page with an email opt-in
If your goal is email sign-ups or to grow your audience, you can also use your autoresponder as a marketing tool for your opt-in.
Set up a simple, optimized landing page and add a link to it to funnel traffic to your site. You’ll need to make the link look enticing enough to make someone click, so communicate the value of whatever it is you’re offering:
“Last year, our company helped eight different businesses increase their revenue by 12% with one easy tweak to their marketing strategy. If you’re interested in learning how we do it, I’ve set up a quick demo video that takes you through our marketing tool – check it out here: [link]”
LinkedIn Autoresponder Best Practices
Setting up an autoresponder on LinkedIn is a quick and easy tool to help you increase your lead gen efforts. But this means it’s also easy to get it wrong.
Whatever you’ve decided to include in your automated message, here are some best practices to implement.
Keep it professional
If you’re away from LinkedIn for a holiday, there’s no need to tell your potential clients. Although it’s best to keep an autoresponder light and conversational, you also need to keep it professional.
This small automatic message is still a reflection of your brand, so keep it in your brand voice and use it to your advantage – don’t put potential clients off.
Don’t be spammy
Many LinkedIn users fall into the trap of using their LinkedIn autoresponder as one long sales pitch. If you jam it full of discounts, offers, product pages, or sales jargon, no one will bother reading it.
Instead, be genuine about why you aren’t replying directly, and offer the recipient real value. A user will be much more receptive to a useful free opt-in or chance to schedule a call with you.
Give users your preferred contact information
Many business owners don’t have the time to communicate with leads over social media, but this is the preferred way that clients will reach out, even in the B2B space.
By giving potential leads your preferred contact information, you encourage them to move away from the platform and communicate with you in a more controlled way. This not only makes your life easier but means you have more control over your time spent scrolling on social platforms.
Vague autoresponders are just as frustrating for leads as no reply. If yours currently says, “I’m not online at the moment, I’ll follow up soon!” you are potentially losing a lead.
Be precise about when you’re available to communicate when you’ll reply to messages, and give links to useful follow-up content to keep recipients engaged in your absence.
The Next Step: Automate Customer Service
As a B2B business owner or marketer, you should be automating most of your LinkedIn processes. Not only does it save you time but it streamlines the early stages of the buyer journey and gives a structure that leads like to see in brands.
Setting up a LinkedIn autoresponder is a quick and easy hack to improve your LinkedIn game, but it doesn’t stop there.
There are many opportunities to automate your LinkedIn to improve your customer service and boost lead generation. Check out our guide on how automation tools can help boost customer service team’s work to take your LinkedIn to the next level.